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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Published with permission from Media Matters for America

Supporters of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump will be holding an “America First Unity Rally”on July 18. The event, which will be hosted by Citizens for Trump and longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone, is being billed as “a massive victory rally & parade celebration of Mr. Trump’s nomination.”

The rally recently hit a speedbump after organizers were forced to drop a white nationalist website that had previously been featured in promotional materials as a sponsor. The person who produces the website in question also resigned from a position with hosting organization Citizens for Trump.

The “Unity” rally is slated to feature speakers and hosts with incendiary histories befitting of their support for Trump. The scheduled speakers have lobbed racist and sexist attacks against opponents; called for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ executions; openly discriminated against minorities; led the movement that claims the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job”; and alleged that President Obama and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are not American citizens.

Here are five things to know about the “America First Unity Rally.”

Co-Host Roger Stone Has A History Of Pushing Violent Rhetoric, Racist Taunts, Sexist Screeds And Discredited Research

Roger Stone is co-hosting the event and been heavily promoting it on Alex Jones’ conspiracy show (Jones is also speaking at the event). Stone is a longtime friend and ally of Trump and conducted a press gaggle at theJuly 16 Trump event that introduced running mate Mike Pence. He has a decades-long history of employing political dirty tricks, and regularly spouts violent, racist, and sexist rhetoric, including calling Hillary Clinton a “cunt” and advocating for her and Bernie Sanders’ executions.

Stone is also a discredited researcher and conspiracy theorist who claims the Clintons and Bushes secretly murdered dozens; the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 is “suspicious”; President Lyndon Johnson killed President John F. Kennedy; President George H.W. Bush tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan; and the Clintons killed John F. Kennedy Jr.

For more about Stone, go here.

Leading 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Is A Speaker And Sponsor

Conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones is speaking at the rally and has been encouraging his listeners to give “their time, their energy, and their money” to support it. Jones’ website Infowars.com is sponsoring the event. Jones is a 9/11 truther who said after the terrorist attacks: “Those were controlled demolitions. You just watched the government blow up the World Trade Center.” His website claimed that Jones “predicted the attacks on September 11th, 2001 and is considered one of the very first founding fathers of the 9-11 Truth Movement.”

Jones also believes the government was behind national tragedies like the Oklahoma City bombing, Boston Marathon bombing, Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, and mass shootings in Aurora, CO, and Newtown, CT.

For more about Jones’ toxic beliefs and his support of Trump, go here.

A White Nationalist Website Previously Sponsored The Event

The white nationalist website Eternal Sentry previously sponsored the event. Eternal Sentry is a self-described “altright” website that features racist and anti-Semitic material, repeatedly warns about “White Genocide,” and is produced by former Citizens for Trump staffer Paul Chambers, who said whites need to “fight back” against African-Americans and “send them back to the mud-huts they so desperately and obviously desire.”

Following Media Matters’ reporting, Citizens for Trump’s Tim Selaty told Cleveland.com he was not aware of Chambers’ “harmful” views and that his group had failed to do its “due diligence.” According to Selaty, Chambers “decided to drop his sponsorship and resign his volunteer position on our staff.”

Speaker Jan Morgan Bans Muslims From Her Business

Jan Morgan is a rally speaker and national spokesperson for Citizens for Trump. Morgan owns an Arkansas gun range that bans Muslim customers, explaining, “why would I hand a loaded gun to a muslim and allow him to shoot lethal weapons next to people his koran commands him to kill?”

Morgan has claimed that “Islam is also not a religion, It is a theocracy and terrorist cult that hides behind the mask of religion in order to acheive (sic) its mission of world domination.”

Organizer Citizens For Trump Claims President Obama Is A Kenyan Citizen

Citizens For Trump posted an April 15 image asking, “Isn’t it Time ‘We the People’ Elected An American Citizen for President?” and claiming President Obama, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) are respectively Kenyan, Cuban, and Canadian citizens.

In August 2015, Citizens for Trump posted an image of President Obama with the caption, “If Trump Becomes President I’m Moving Back To Africa.”

Trump speaking at Londonderry, NH rally

Screenshot from YouTube

Donald Trump once again baselessly claimed on Sunday that the COVID-19 pandemic was "going to be over" soon, just hours after his chief of staff suggested the administration was unable to get it under control.

"Now we have the best tests, and we are coming around, we're rounding the turn," Trump said at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire. "We have the vaccines, we have everything. We're rounding the turn. Even without the vaccines, we're rounding the turn, it's going to be over."

Trump has made similar claims on repeated occasions in the past, stating early on in the pandemic that the coronavirus would go away on its own, then with the return of warmer weather.

That has not happened: Over the past several weeks, multiple states have seen a surge in cases of COVID-19, with some places, including Utah, Texas, and Wisconsin, setting up overflow hospital units to accommodate the rapidly growing number of patients.

Hours earlier on Sunday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows appeared to contradict Trump, telling CNN that there was no point in trying to curb the spread of the coronavirus because it was, for all intents and purposes, out of their control.

"We are not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas," he said. "Because it is a contagious virus, just like the flu."

Meadows doubled own on Monday, telling reporters, "We're going to defeat the virus; we're not going to control it."

"We will try to contain it as best we can, but if you look at the full context of what I was talking about, we need to make sure that we have therapeutics and vaccines, we may need to make sure that when people get sick, that, that they have the kind of therapies that the president of the United States had," he added.Public health experts, including those in Trump's own administration, have made it clear that there are two major things that could curb the pandemic's spread: mask wearing and social distancing.

But Trump has repeatedly undermined both, expressing doubt about the efficacy of masks and repeatedly ignoring social distancing and other safety rules — even when doing so violated local and state laws.

Trump, who recently recovered from COVID-19 himself, openly mocked a reporter on Friday for wearing a mask at the White House — which continues to be a hotspot for the virus and which was the location of a superspreader event late last month that led to dozens of cases. "He's got a mask on that's the largest mask I think I've ever seen. So I don't know if you can hear him," Trump said as his maskless staff laughed alongside him.

At the Manchester rally on Sunday, Trump also bragged of "unbelievable" crowd sizes at his mass campaign events. "There are thousands of people there," he claimed, before bashing former Vice President Joe Biden for holding socially distant campaign events that followed COVID safety protocols.

"They had 42 people," he said of a recent Biden campaign event featuring former President Barack Obama. "He drew flies, did you ever hear the expression?"

Last Monday, Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) endorsed Biden's approach to the pandemic as better than Trump's, without "any doubt."

"The more we go down the road resisting masks and distance and tracing and the things that the scientists are telling us, I think the more concerned I get about our management of the COVID situation," he told CNN.

In his final debate against Biden last Thursday, Trump was asked what his plan was to end the pandemic. His answer made it clear that, aside from waiting for a vaccine, he does not have one.

"There is a spike, there was a spike in Florida and it's now gone. There was a very big spike in Texas — it's now gone. There was a spike in Arizona, it is now gone. There are spikes and surges in other places — they will soon be gone," he boasted. "We have a vaccine that is ready and it will be announced within weeks and it's going to be delivered. We have Operation Warp Speed, which is the military is going to distribute the vaccine."

Experts have said a safe vaccine will likely not be ready until the end of the year at the earliest, and that most people will not be able to be vaccinated until next year.

Trump also bragged Sunday that he had been "congratulated by the heads of many countries on what we have been able to do," without laying out any other strategy for going forward.

Nationally, new cases set a single-day record this weekend, with roughly 84,000 people testing positive each day. More than 8.5 million Americans have now contracted the virus and about 225,000 have died.

Trump, by contrast, tweeted on Monday that he has "made tremendous progress" with the virus, while suggesting that it should be illegal for the media to report on it before the election.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.